Phyllis K. Fong was sworn in as Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on December 2, 2002. USDA is one of the largest and most diverse departments in the Federal Government. Its mission includes the management of traditional farm programs, private lands conservation, domestic food assistance, agriculture research and education, agricultural marketing, international trade, meat and poultry inspection, forestry, and rural development programs.
As Inspector General, Ms. Fong is the senior official responsible for audits, evaluations, investigations, and law enforcement efforts, relating to USDA's programs and operations. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) provides leadership in promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in USDA programs and addressing fraud, waste, and abuse.
In November 2008, Ms. Fong was elected as the first Chairperson of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), which was established by the Inspector General Reform Act of 2008, to consolidate the former President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) and Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency. She is currently serving her second term in that position. CIGIE's members include 73 Federal Inspectors General, and its mission is to promote economy and effectiveness in Federal programs through coordinated Governmentwide activities. Previously, Ms. Fong served as Chair of the PCIE Legislation Committee and was a member of the PCIE Audit Committee. She also served as PCIE representative to the Comptroller General's Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards.
Ms. Fong also serves as a member of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which was established by Congress to oversee Federal spending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Prior to her appointment at USDA, Ms. Fong served as the Inspector General of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) from April 1999 until December 2002. A career member of the Senior Executive Service, she had also held several positions at SBA OIG, including Assistant Inspector General for Management and Legal Counsel (1994-1999) and Assistant Inspector General for Management and Policy (1988-1994). She also served as Assistant General Counsel for the Legal Services Corporation (1981-1983) and as an attorney with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1978-1981).
Ms. Fong was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. She graduated from Pomona College with a B.A. degree in Asian studies and earned her J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law. Ms. Fong is a member of the Tennessee and District of Columbia bars. She and her husband, Paul Tellier, have two children.